Rangitoto Island was formed by a series of eruptions between 600 and 700 years ago. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with its distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 metres (850 ft) high over the Hauraki Gulf. You can see it on all the other volcanoes on the mainland and also along the Tamaki Drive.
The side facing Auckland city has vegetation. The ocean facing side is still volcanic rocks.
Rangitoto is Māori for 'Bloody Sky', with the name coming from the full phrase Ngā Rangi-i-totongia-a Tama-te-kapua